Do you shampoo and condition your hair? Use hairspray or dry shampoo? How about a hair mask to keep it moisturized? The options of beauty products are endless, and consumers are willing to spend hard earned cash to keep their locks looking great. According to a 2012 infographic by Feelunique, consumers worldwide spent more than $47.2 billion on hair care. Wait … what?!
Additionally, according to mobile payment company Square, the average American woman spent $44 per hair cut in 2014, while the average American man spent $21—and that was three years ago.
It’s clear women (and men!) go to great lengths to maintain stunning strands, but is it all a waste? Before lathering on another layer of product, pull back your ponytail and read on for hair-raising facts and fictional tales about tresses.
“Cutting your hair doesn’t necessarily mean it grows stronger, faster and healthier,” says global hairstylist and expert Rossano Ferretti, who has salons in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. “People should just take care of their hair when it’s time for a trim on a regular schedule in order to prevent split ends.”
“It’s important you choose the correct way to part your hair to ensure it is in line with how your hair grows,” says AXE Hair master barber Pedro Rosario. “Look for the crown in the back of your head, where your hair sprouts out of, with a hand mirror. Draw a line from the crown to the corner of your hairline—on the front of your hair—to achieve a proper part.” This gives a more natural look, rather than going against the grain. “If hair is parted in an unnatural way on the wrong side, it can cause or enhance a cowlick at the crown of the head. This would make the style a lot less polished.”
“The opposite might happen,” says Ferretti. “If you don’t take care of your scalp, you can clog the pores and cause some hair to fall out.” But, adds Rosario, “in order for your hair to keep its natural oils, its best to wash your hair two to three times a week as opposed to every day. Instead of washing it daily, use a little conditioner on it daily and simply run water over it to ensure it stays clean.” Adds Neal Schultz, M.D., NYC dermatologist, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, “if you are losing hair or think you are, don’t decrease shampooing. Shampooing does not maker hair fall out, and in fact, regular shampooing can actually decrease hair loss.”
“You should choose a gentle shampoo with a very low component of chemicals that is sulphate free, SLS free and paraben free, because it’s actually the chemicals that generate a lot of foam,” says Ferretti.
“Hairdryers are a fine addition to any morning routine and will not damage your hair if you use it the right way,” says Rosario. “Simply use it at a low to medium temperature setting for a bit of volume along with your favorite product for hold.”
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. You wasted so much time. “Brushing your hair too much can make your hair weaker and it can damage the fiber,” says Ferretti. Excessive hair brushing causes breakage and cuticle damage, making strands frizz. The less brushing, the better.
Lead photo: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock
Hilary Sheinbaum is a travel, health, food and lifestyle writer.